In the aftermath of the latest Cabinet reshuffle by "His Excellency President Jacob Zuma", the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) has lashed out at ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe and welcomed the removal of SACP secretary general Blade Nzimande.
Mantashe is believed to back Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to take over from Zuma.
"The African National Congress Youth League has noted the Cabinet reshuffle, as done by the His Excellency President Jacob Zuma," starts ANCYL spokesperson Mlondi Mkhize's statement issued on Wednesday.
Mkhize says the ANCYL "comprehends this reshuffle to be informed by the assessment of the work performed by various departments".
"Secondly, the ANCYL receives this reshuffle against the background that the ministry of higher education and training did not have a deputy in the ministry."
Nzimande has been replaced with Hlengiwe Mkhize, with Buti Manamela moved from deputy minister in the presidency to deputy minister of education. The latter post was left vacant after Mduduzi Manana resigned amid controversy after assaulting a woman.
"The ANCYL welcomes these effected changes with high hope that the new minister and deputy minister will help speed up the process of free education for the poor and the needy," said Mkhize.
He said the ANCYL called on those aggrieved by the reshuffle to "stop passing mischievous comments" and attempting to drive a wedge between "His Excellency" and the SACP.
"The ANC remains the only organisation that deploys its members, leadership and cadres to various institutions of government and therefore no one should think that the His Excellency has offended a component of the alliance. Dr Bonginkosi Nzimade [sic] is deployed by the ANC, no one else."
Youth League 'utterly disturbed'
"If His Excellency was fighting with leaders of the SACP, cdes [comrades] like Buti Manamela, Thulas Nxesi, Senzeni Zokwana, Jeff Radebe, Jeremy Cronin, and Ben Martins, amongst others, would have been recalled," said Mkhize.
He said first deputy general secretary of the SACP, Solly Mapaila, was not helping the alliance.
"It is perpetuating differences and making the vanguard party to be viewed and be treated like a cde Dr Blade entity and vanguard for him, not the working class," said Mkhize.
The SACP's reaction to the Cabinet reshuffle on Tuesday was that it had been engineered to get rid of Nzimande, and that it is taking the tripartite alliance to a breaking point.
Mantashe said on Tuesday that the ANC's top six were "informed" that Zuma would reshuffle the Cabinet.
Constitutionally, Zuma has the prerogative to reshuffle his Cabinet, but the ANC expects him to consult with its leadership and the alliance partners.
Mantashe's "apolitical utterances [sic]" had left the ANCYL "utterly disturbed", Mkhize said.
"The SG tacitly insinuates that the officials were not consulted. By so doing, the SG is directly casting aspersions on President Zuma as being non-consultative.
"It is a known fact that 2017 is a silly-season, we therefore request the SG, as the engine of the organisation, to own up to the decisions of the officials and not to allow himself to be caught in the succession race politics, thereby compromising the integrity of the very important office of the secretary general," Mkhize said.